Walt Whitman, "Philosophy of Ferries"

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Walt Whitman, "Philosophy of Ferries" - Philosophy of fbrries. Our Brooklyn ferries...
Philosophy of fbrries. Our Brooklyn ferries teach somo sago lessons in philosophy, genllo reader, (wo like that time - honored phrase !) whothor you ever knew it or not. There is tho Fulton, now, which takes precedence by ago, and by a sort of aristocratic seniority of wealth and business, too. It moves ou like iron - willed destiny. Passionless and fixed, at tho six - stroko tho boats como iu ; and and at tho three - stroke, succeeded by a singled lap, they depart again, with tho steadiness of nature herself. herself. Perhaps a man. prompted by tho hell - like delirium delirium tremens, has jumped over - board and been drowned : still tho trips go on as before Perhaps somo one has been crushod between the landing and the prow (ah ! that most horrible thing of all 1) still, no matter, for tho groat business of tho mass must be helped forward as beforo. A momont's pause tho quick gathering of a curious crowd, (how strange that they can look so unshudderingly on the scene '.) tho paleness of the more chicken hearted and ail subsides, and tho current sweeps as it did the moment previously. How it deadens one's sympathies, this living in a city ! But the most ' moral' part of the ferry sights, is to soo the conduct of tho people, old and young, fat aud loan, gentle and simple, when the bell sounds three laps. Then follows a spectacle, indeed par ticularly on tho Brooklyn side, at from seven o clock to nine in the morning. At the very first moment of the sound, perhaps some sixty or eighty gentlemen aro plodding along the side walks, adja cent to llio ferry boat likowiso some score or so of lads with that brisk pace which bespeaks (he 'business 'business individual.' Now see them as tho said thrcc - tap is heard ! Apparently moved by an electric impulse, two thirds of the whole number stait off on the wings of the wind ! Coat tails fly high and wide ! You get a swift view of the phantom - like semblance of humanity, as it is sometimes seen in dreams but nothing more unless it may bo you are on the walk yourself, when the chances are in favor of a breath - destroying punch ill the stomach. In their insane fury, tho rushing crowd spare neither neither ago nor sex. Then the single stroke of the beil is heard ; and straightway what was rage before comes to bo a sort of extatic fury! Awaro of his danger, the man that takes the toll has ensconced himself behind a slout oaken partition, which seems only to bo entered through a littio window - looking place : but we think ho must have more than ordinary ordinary courage, to stand even there. Wo seriously recommend the ferry superintendant to have this place as strong as iron bars can mako it. This rushing and raging is not inconsistent, however, however, with other items of the American character. Perhaps it is a developemeut of the ' indomitablo energy' aud ' chainless enterprise' which we get so much praiso for. But it is a very ludicrous thing, nevertheless. If the trait is remembered down to posterity, and put in the annals, it will bo bad for us. Posterity surely cannot attach any thing of the dignified or august to a people who run after steamboats, steamboats, with hats flying off; and skirts streaming behind behind ! Think of any of tho Roman senators, or the worthies of Grecco, iu such a predicament. (Tho esteem which we had for a certain acquaintance acquaintance wont up at least a hundred per cent, one day, when wc found that, though a daily passenger over tho ferry, he never accelerated his pace in the slightest manner, oven when by so doing, ho could ' savo a boat.') A similar indecorum and folly aro exhibited when the boat approaches the wfiar. As if somo aveng ing fate wero behind them, and tiio dovil indeed was going to " take the hindermost," tho passengers crowd to the very vergo of tho forward parts, and wait with frightful eagerness till they aro brought within three or four yards of the landing when tho front row prepare themselves for desperate springs. Amoug many there is a rivalry as to who shall leap on shore over iho widest stretch of water '. The boat gets some four or five feet from tho wharf, and then the springing begitis hop! hop! hop! those who are in tho greatest hurry generally stopping stopping for several minutes when they get on the dock to look at their companions behind ou the boat, and how they come ashore! Well: thero is a great deal of inconsistency in this world. The Catharine ferry at the foot of Main street has plenty of business, too. though not near as much as the one whose peculiarities wo have just been narrating. It has lately had some new boats or new fixings and paint, we don't know which and presents, (we noticed the other day, in crossing,) quite a spruce appearance. The Catharine ferry is used by many working pcoplo : in the morning they cross there in prodigious numbers. Also, milk wagons, and country vehicles generally. During the day a great many of the Brooklyn dames go over this ferry ferry on shopping excursions to the region of Grand street and Catharine street on the other side. The desperation to get to the boat, which wj have mentioned mentioned above, docs not prevail so deeply here. Long may tho contagion ' stay away' ! for we must confess confess that we don't hko to seo it. This ferry, (like all tho others,) is a very profitable investment ; and from those profits wo aro warranted in saying as we have said onco or twico before that the price for foot passengers should be put down to one cent, and horses aud wagons in proportion. The South ferry has a more dainty aud 'genteel' character than either of the other places. Tho broad avenue which leads to it, and the neighborhood neighborhood of tho aristocratic heights, from whom i! receives receives many of its passengers, keep it so. Business is not so large thero as at either ol the other ferries we havo mentioned ; hut tho accommodations are of tho first quality. Tho boats aro large and clean ; and the more moderate bustle and clatter mako it riujv.u.ii - , uuim; tiio swnmer aiiernoons, lor ladies and children tho latter often taken by their nurses and remaining on board the boats for au hour, for tne pleasant sail. Besides these, we have the ferry from the foot of Jackson street on tho Brooklyn side, to Walnut st. New York side . This consists of" only one boat, and a rather shabby one at that. Many workmen at the navy yard use this means of conveyance ; and it is also of course patronized by citizens in thai vicinity. vicinity. Wo should think much better and and more rapid accommodations would bo desirable there. Tho boat is half tho timo prevented by her own im - wicldness from getting into her slip under half au hour's detention. She seems to bo somo old affair that has been cast off for years. We have also two other ferries, iu tho limits of Brooklyn, which in time will bo as much avenues of business as either of tho rest. One of these goes from Whitehall to tho foot of Hamilton avontio, and accommodates the region of the Atlantic dock, and or farther South Brooklyn, which is daily assuming moro and moro importance. The other goes also from Whitehall to tho long wharf near Greenwood cemetery. This also is necessary for the accommodation accommodation of a rapidly increasing mass of citizens who are attracted by tho salubrity of that section of Brooklyn joined with tho cheapness of the land, aud tho nearness of the beautiful grounds of Ihe cemetery. Tho ferry at the foot of Montagu street is in progress progress ; and will probably bo in operation next Bpriug. The Bridge street ferry is also determined upon, and may bo completed by the samo timo. Lono Island vessel bunk. Tho following account account of a disaster to a new and handsome coasting vessol belonging to this island, appears in tho riioru - ing papers : Tho steamer Bay State on her trip from Fall River, came in collision with a vessel yesterday morning about six o'clock, when off Watch Hill light, or between that and Point Judith light. The steamer received little or no damage, but the schooner schooner was so badly injured that she filled and went down in about fifteen minutes. Her name was Oriaua, belonging to Brookhaven, L. I. bound from Philidelphia to New Bedford and loaded with coal. Her crow consisting or Capt. Smith Wells, a mate and two other hands. Three of tho hands immediately immediately sprang on board Iho steamer at the moment of the collision, and tho captain took to iho boat, and afterwards got ou board the Bay Stale. At the lime of Iho accident a dense fog was prevailing, which prevented the vessels seeing each other until it was too late to avoid the crash. Tho crew lost all their personal effects, and barely escaped with their lives and what they had on. Tho ' Oriaua' was a new schooner, this being her second trip, and there was no insurance either on vessel or cargo. The loss falls heavily on Capt. Wells, who was tho largest owner, having invested his all in her. She was valued at $5600, her cargo at about $600. A collection collection was taken up among the passengers of the Bay State, for the benefit of the unfortunate crew, and a purse of 209 raised, to be divided equally among them. A new town of Brooklyn. We are informed that about forty enterprising agriculturists of this vicinity, who aro to be joined by a party of three hundred emigrants now on their way from Bristol, Eng., will in a few weeks proceed to Western Virginia Virginia for the purpose of forming a settlement to be called Brooklyn, in honor of this city. Each has purchased a tract ol land for $1 12$ per acre, and among tho party are some wealthy and substantia' farmers who are amply provided with means and appliauces to subdue the difficulties of forest life. Theso lands aro situated on the banks of the Ohio river, two miles from Cincinnati, and were recently - held by Mr. Clark and others of this city who has himself removed thither. Au agent has been exerting exerting himself in England in order to form this colony. colony. We understand that they have every inducement inducement to settlo upon these lands. L.UiCSE ATTENDANCE AT THE FarMINQDALE CAMP - jieeting. The fine weather has brought out the people in immense crowds ; tho area of the camp ground on Wednesday was filled to overflowing, so that seats for all tho concourse were out of the question. question. The cars from Brooklyn were so full that a largo number of way passeugers wero left, to their great disappointment ; the stages however were well filled, and as the result tho adjacent woods were literally alivo with horses aud carriages. The preaching was of a high character aud judging from appearances produced a deep impression. There were perhaps not less than 30 clergymen present. Tiio discharge of tho volunteers after the battle of Ccrro Gordo, before their time expired, has been made a ground of complaint against the administration, administration, but, as it appears, without good reason. The Washington Union says" it was done at his (Scott's) own instance, after feeling much solicitudo as to the course he should adopt ; but not under iustructiono of the secretary." And again, "Mr. Secretary Mar - cy gave no such instructions to Geu. Scott, in the month of February, or at auy time before the general general had issued his general orders of May4lh for the discharge of the volunteers." The Washington Union mixes up a little bit of romance only a very little bit with tho questionable questionable tidings from Mexico, by giving the following explanation of the delay iu publishing the news at New OrleauB: A youug lady in the city Mexico is said to have written to a Mexican in N. Orleans, on tho 15th ultimo, that the families were quitting th; city iu consequence of tho advance of the Yankees; and u - lds a postscript on the 17lh, (by the courier,) that Geu. Scott was then entering the city. This letter was kept back by the Mexican, from a tender regard regard to the fair authoress. New Orleans, Aug. 4. The returns of yesterday, yesterday, we are glad to perceive, show no increase of tho deaths from yellow fever. Unacclimated persons aro fast leaving the city ; the authorities, we hope, will see that all sanative precautions shall bo adop. ted, so far assuch como within their purview ; these, and the antidotes which prudence will suggest to those not acclimated, will we trustsave the city from severe epidemic. Delia. Deaths in Charity hospital by yellow fever 24 hours ending 3d iust., 3 P. M., 7. Euphonious While sailing down tho bay a few days since, we wero so much interested in the appearance appearance of a fine looking ship, lying at anchor off the battery, as to copy her name tho' it was something of a job and here it is: " Konmgwillemdetweede." Tho vessel was very much " down by the stern," and with a good reason, for such aname was enough to make her so. New business for governments. Ouo of our New York contemporaries thinks that governments aro " above all, bound to protect tho general health of the poor." This is a very desirable result, but governinentshave nothing more to do with it than they have to give " the poor" new jackets overy Christmas. Christmas. Lieut. Marin. The sword presentation to this gentleman will not take place on Tuesday next, as was anticipated. Somo obstacles in the way of procuring procuring an appropriate weapon will cause.it to be deferred deferred to a later day of next week. The ceremonies we learn will bo of a highly interesting character. Iowa. A slip from Philadelphia written last evening, evening, announces tho election to congress of Thompson, Thompson, dem., iu the 1st district of Iowa. Second district. Not yet ascertained. Henry Clay, on Wednesday, reached the residence residence of John M. Clayton, four miles from New Castle. Ho was to proceed to Cape May yester - dav. Nothing jiy the southern mail. Tho New Orleans papers of the 5th iust. contain nothing later from Mexico. ScfENcn for the kitchen. Professor Leibirr. in a letter to professor Sillimau, says, " The method of roasting is obviously tho best to make flesh most nutritious." But it does not follow that boiling is to be interdicted. " If a piece of meat be put iu cold water, and this heated to boiling, and boiled till 'dono' it will becomo harder and have less taste, than if tho same piece had been thrown into water already boiling. In the first case the matters grateful grateful to tho smell and taste, go into the extract the soup; in tho second, tho albumen of the meat coagulates coagulates from' tho surface iuward, and envelopes, the exterior with a layer which is impermeablo to water. In the latter caae, the soup will bo different, but the meat delicious.'" a . jail the " so It be A in he he of to at in am it in certainly the out ous " he to had A the of has of as tho He on his on he of aud aud

Clipped from The Brooklyn Daily Eagle13 Aug 1847, FriPage 2

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, New York)13 Aug 1847, FriPage 2
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  • Walt Whitman, "Philosophy of Ferries"

    alliebonds19 – 02 Feb 2016

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